Illinois owes $670 Million for Teacher Pensions in next budget

Illinois will have to come up with another $670 million for the teacher pension system in the next budget after a retirement fund panel crunched the numbers and adjusted its assumptions, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Fixing Illinois’ budget crisis begins with understanding just how much money comes in and how much money is spent in a given year. Yet tracking the state’s massive budget is much more difficult than it seems, especially because of convoluted accounting practices. This lack of transparency matters because, in addition to contributing to the budget crisis, incomplete information makes solutions harder to find. Understanding the state’s true fiscal situation depends upon how clearly, consistently and broadly budget information is presented. Illinois faces two main transparency problems: “time-shift” budgeting and an overemphasis on the General Funds budget, according to economist Richard Dye in an op-ed for the Sun-Times.

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